Regardless of how well your business is doing, it can always use more increase in sales. Whether you are just starting out or you are looking for more opportunities to grow, there are still new and better ways to make your food vending business more profitable. If you are operating a food truck or concession trailer, you can use the following tips, tricks, and information to boost your sales and increase your revenue.
Find New Locations
The best part of owning a food truck or concession trailer is that your business is mobile. You can go to the crowds instead of forcing people to find you. If you already have some great locations, you may not want to change those. However, if some of your sites seem to be losing their steam, you may want to try out some novel areas near you. Business districts and locations that have several bars or nightclubs can often add a massive boost to your sales.
You can add in some special events from time to time as well. Some events are busy enough to not only warrant the extra hours, but they can get your name out to new people as well. Some of the best events food trucks and concession trailers include:
Concerts or festivals
Tuning into special events in your location can be very lucrative for those in the food vending business.
Use the Power of Crowds
People love trying the next “new” thing, and food trucks and concession trailers are very “in” right now. Capitalize on trends by encouraging others to “share” their location and their experience with your food truck on social media. Get creative with encouraging customers to share—offer prizes, discounts, or other fun incentives for sharing. Be sure to update all your social media accounts to share your location as soon as you get there or even while you are on the way.
You can also use your social media resources to do some informal research regarding your customers as well. As for votes for their favorite foods or hold polls on where customers wish you would park your food truck. This type of marketing not only encourages consumer interaction, but you also get some valuable insight on your best products and locations as well.
Investigate Your Competition
If you are struggling or you just want to boost business, consider scoping out your competition. Chances are that some of your more successful competitors are doing things that you are not. Are they offering specials? Do they have better locations? Are their signage graphics just better? What sets them apart from other food trucks? If you like some of their ideas, alter them to fit your needs and make some changes!
Not all concession trailers or food trucks are created equal. Keep this in mind while you are considering who your competition really is. While you may compete with a concession vendor simply because they are using a food truck, their product offerings may be very different from yours. For example, you generally do not compete with a snow cone vendor if you are providing entrée items. However, you may compete with them if you offer dessert items as well.
You should also keep in mind that your competition is more than just other food trucks—it is restaurants, food carts, gas stations, and more. Can you incorporate anything from these types of competitors that will give your concession trailer or food truck an edge?
Making a profit is all about the bottom line. It is often easier to cut costs than it is to increase profits. That means taking a hard look at your expenses may be a good place to start to improve your food vending business’s profits. You can decrease costs by:
Ensuring that you are ordering the right amount of supplies to reduce waste (try keeping an ongoing list of waste or spoiled foods to get an idea of where you may be over ordering)
Look for free and low-cost parking (and avoid parking where you can be ticketed!)
Buy in season produce
Make as much as you can from scratch –it is often cheaper, and customers love “homemade” items
Shop around for deals on supplies and ingredients
Ensure your staff is using every ingredient to its full potential (such as never losing the “good” portions of fruits, veggies, and meat by trimming too much)
Examine every practice (and every dollar spent) closely. You can likely cut costs somewhere to increase your overall profits.
Keep Up with Food Trends
Catering to food trends can be a great way to increase profits. For example, offering pumpkin-spice-flavored items in the fall is very “on trend,” and it may appeal to a different type of crowd. You do not need to change your whole menu – however, offering specialty items based on the season or an event can be very appealing to your customers.
Consider an Upgraded Concession Trailer
Perhaps your profits are down because you need to make some fundamental changes to your equipment. If your oven is losing steam or your prep space is not big enough to cater to increased demand, you may need an upgrade. You may even benefit significantly by investing in a brand-new, customized concession trailer. One that’s designed specifically for the business you have now and the one you want in the near future.